ReMix: Jazz Jackrabbit 2 "Sanfter Flügel Weilt"
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7,303,473 bytes, 4:13, 229kbps
We start the week off with a high-octane dose of rock/metal from HeavenWraith (Antanas Palaitis), arranging the amusingly titled source tune "Jazz Be Damned" from Jazz Jackrabbit 2... indeed! The artist writes:
"Since I tried to go with more of a vanilla/loyal to the source mindset, I believe the source usage breakdown is not really necessary. Everything but the part from 1:52 to 2:53 is rearranged source. The main thing that inspired me throughout the creation process was "Shudder Before the Beautiful" by Nightwish, which, I believe, is quite noticeable for those who know the track. I dreamed of remixing this source track ever since I started remixing VGM, just did not have appropriate ideas for it, it's such a nice progressive track."
Some symphonic components fill out the soundscape, but it's the rapid-fire noodling on lead guitar that takes center stage for large swaths. It's a relatively conservative take, as Antanas mentions, but there's personalization throughout and some new bits that fit right in, as Sir_NutS describes:
"This arrangement feels more like an expansion on the original (which is awesome by itself) than trying to change it into something completely different. It sticks close in terms of melody and structure but there are definitely additions that made it stand on its own, and sections like 2:40 broke the mold in a natural way. Awesome performances on the soloing as well."
Production was a deal-breaker for Liontamer due to muddiness - it's definitely not crystal clear, and some details are getting lost. Nevertheless, most judges who noticed this also felt it was overcome by arrangement/performances, like DaMonz:
"Right off the bat, the production quality got me hesitating a bit on this one. Things are very busy all the way through, and the mids are particularly crowded, and I feel like we're missing quite a bit of the detail work in the backing tracks because of that. Although, the core elements (mainly the lead, the bass, and the drums) are still easily audible, so the track remains very enjoyable and the mud can be overlooked without too much trouble.
The arrangement is quite safe, doesn't stray far from the original's direction, which is totally fine because it works. The energy is handled very well, and even though there are basically no breaks, the variations in the structure and the writing manage to keep things interesting. No stop signs, speed limit. Nobody's gonna slow this remix down.
Bottom line, this is a nice downhill ride with a healthy amount of face melting. I don't really care about that little splash of mud on my boots here, honestly."
Pretty much; this should serve as a very stark contrast for the rest of the mixes we've got planned for the week, so enjoy the face-melting shreddage while ye may ;) Antanas could stand to work on his mixing & mastering chops a bit, so he's as impressive with an EQ or limiter as he is on guitar, but other than that this is a fun twin homage to JJ2 & Nightwish that intros hard & heavy and stays there, but still develops nicely. Enjoy!